If trying to decipher what your crush said in a text wasn’t enough, an added emoji can make it hard to see their true intentions. Nowadays, when every joke is layered in five different coatings of irony, how can you tell if that sad face emoji is genuine? Thankfully, we are chronically online ourselves. With our extensive knowledge of emoji nuance, you can peel back the layers of these modern hieroglyphics.
Whether it’s for a joke, emphasis or even decoration, emojis have become a staple in online communication — enough to warrant companies making emoji merchandise, a musical and a movie.
What makes these emojis so fun is their versatility. When glancing at a teenager’s screen, the average parent might just see a “dizzy face,” a “sweat drop,” and a “hole.” However, those more involved on social media might have widely different definitions for these emojis.
So, whether you’ve been under a rock the last few years or want to up your emoji game, scroll no further — we’ve got the goods.
The Standing Man
While it seems like a bland emoji, this one has made its way into text-lingo. The main use of it is for shock or speechlessness. For example, if your friend throws their god-awful crush into the group chat, and you don’t want to tear into them but want to show your disapproval, use this emoji to show that you’re at a loss for words.
The Mischief Maker
Look at this rascal — what has he done, why is he smiling, and why is he trying to cover it up? That air of mischief is exactly what this emoji entails. Put it at the end of some roast or burn to enact your jester’s privilege and show that you aren’t really angry, but that you see whatever or whoever you’re talking about as a joke rather than a serious matter.
It’s spelt sleigh, but it rhymes with slay. Pretty self-explanatory
This guy looks like he’s had a few too many, and that’s the direction his definition has gone. It’s all about making bad decisions. Telling your friend that you woke up in your ex’s bed after the party? Use this to soften the blow, even though they’ll still yell at you.
Loud Crying Face
After the original crying-laughing emoji was commodified on every mother’s Facebook meme page, the younger crowd began to use this emoji to make a new laughing staple and set themselves apart from middle-age Facebook users. Even though its official name is “loud crying,” it is used the same as the laughing emoji to show intense laughter.
The Falling Leaves
While looking innocent, these leaves have a very distinct definition among the stoner crowd. They’re used as a calling card to show that someone smokes weed, without outright saying it. The inconspicuous leaves are popular on dating apps as well, so any smoker can find their perfect bud.
New Phone, Who Dis?
With the iOS 16.4 beta recently being publicized, it seems that iPhone users will be having a few new emojis coming soon. Among them are a few new animals to the digital menagerie. A moose, a donkey, a crow and a silly little goose.
There are a few items as well: maracas, a flute, a comb and even some peas in a pod. Though, what will definitely make people happy are some new hearts. A sky-blue heart, a gray heart and a much-needed classic pink heart are coming to the new iOS — finally giving us pink heart lovers a simpler one to use.
Make sure to update your phone when they come out or you’ll be stuck in question-box hell while everyone else has fun with their new toys.
words_sal puma. design_isa márquez & lizzie kristal.
This article was published in Distraction’s Spring 2023 print issue.
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